{Preparing Your Heart For a New Year…}


I am so glad you decided to stop by today! Why? Because it’s December 8th and in just a few short weeks, we will be done with 2011. Can you believe that?  Can you believe that we are getting ready to celebrate Christmas followed by a brand New Year?!

Let me start with this great video I found on the SKIT GUYS website. They have some awesome clips there so if you like what you see, click {here} for more.

http://skitguys.com/videos/embed/1299/

Don’t be that person in the video mindlessly going through the last weeks in this year. Don’t be the person who is so caught up with all they have to do that they miss out on what’s in front of them.

{MY MISSION WAS…}

If you recall, I set out this year on a mission to do my holidays differently. I mean, I shared with you {Preparing Your Holiday Schedule: Part 1} and {Part 2}. These two sites offered so much information on getting ready for the celebrations and hectic schedules of this time of the year. There’s so much to do and so little time do it in. If we are not careful, we end up feeling exhausted and not so ‘merry’.

{TIME TO EVALUATE}

So, today we are simply taking a look at where we are, where we want to be, and making an action plan to get there. Are you ready? I don’t know about you, but I refuse to allow disorganization, procrastination, and laziness on my behalf get in the way of what God wants to do with the final weeks of this year.

So far, 2011 has been the MOST AMAZING year in my life! Really- it has! I’m not saying there were no struggles or issues to deal with in 2011- because believe me…. I’ve had plenty to sort through.

However, 2011 has been such a year of change in my life. It has been a year where I’ve seen God very near and present… and I’ve loved every moment of it. But you know- it’s not a surprise to me, God told me it would be!

{FLASHBACK: 2010}

Because last year when I found myself in a hotel suite during the holidays due to a house fire, I was most definitely not feeling what I feel today.

I was dreading going into the New Year. I mean what’s the point? We’re going to sit in a service and talk about how ‘a New Year is here and all things are made new!’  right?! While everyone was putting on their New Years best, I was sorting through my 2 plastic bins trying to find something that said ‘celebrating’ rather than ‘hand me down’. While everyone was decorating their homes and having parties, I was sitting with a family in a hotel suite.

I dreaded the thought of getting the family into the car on December 31st, 2010 and driving down to our local church. I dreaded finding a place to sit and I dreaded singing and dancing and hearing a message come forth about a New Year. Because when the clock hit midnight and 12:01 am rolled around… when 2011 came to greet us and everyone cheered and laughed and hugged and kissed… when the food was gone and all the deserts were eaten, when the lights at the event were turned off and we got into our car…. we weren’t headed anywhere new. We were headed back to our reality… we were in a hotel suite… life was hitting us with many difficulties and the New Year for me didn’t bring with it anything new…

My friend, if I could just share with you- what you have just read above, was my stinking mindset last year. We were in our midweek service the Wednesday before the New Year’s Eve Banquet, and my Pastor said these words, “2011 is for the violent and the violent take it by force! In 2011, the weak will not survive… so you have two days to get your act together.”

Ooh, I got so angry. ‘How could she say that I was not going to make it through 2011? I was in a “process” and no, this process was not going to take two lousy days to finish. I don’t receive that!!!!’ I turned to my husband and I said, ‘well, I guess I’m not making it through 2011, ’cause their ain’t no way things are going to change in two days!!’

Well, you know what? Those words convicted me for the next two days. I cried out to God and shared the depths of my grief. This went beyond our house fire… there were so many areas in my life that seemed dead… so many areas I was truly grieving. My fears of going into a New Year were as a result of not believing that God would show up.

In those last two days, God, who is so amazing and loving, showed up!

{LOOK AGAIN…YOU MISSED SOMETHING}

This is what I learned…

“Darlene, you are looking at 2010 with your face up against the wall. All you see is the pain and all that you’ve had to go through. 2011 is more than just a New Year. 2011 is the beginning of a new decade. I know you’re hurt. I know that you are grieving. And that’s alright with Me…

But step back. Step away from all the pain that you see in front of you. Step back and look at the last decade of your life.

1999-2003, you gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy and knew the delight of being a mother for the first time.

2003, You accepted Me as your Lord and Savior.

2004, You met Jason (your husband).

2005, You got married.

2006, You became a first time home owner.

2007, You had your faith child, Chai’anne.

2003-Present, You’ve experienced my faithfulness and my supernatural provision over and over again.

Look back Darlene. This past decade has been amazing. You’ve grown. You’ve changed. And I’ve been there all along.

If this is what you’ve experienced in the past 10 years of your life, when you were just getting your act together, when you had so many unsorted issues, if this is what you’ve experienced thus far…. you cannot even imagine what I have in store for you this next decade.”

My friend, in less than two days the Lord changed my heart and my stinkin’ attitude. I found true healing as I repented for the horrible attitude that had robbed me of my joy.

My Pastor was 100% right. 2011 was a violent year and the violent most definitely take it by force! I thank God for the message that she brought forth at our New Year’s Eve service. I thank God even more that He prepared my heart to receive that message. I cannot stress it enough…allow the Lord to change all the negativity in your heart. Do not end this year without stopping to see the Lord’s hand at work in your own life.

{NOW IT’S YOUR TURN}

And so, I go back to what I mentioned in the beginning of this post. Laziness, procrastination, and lack of preparation will not be the way we end the year. Take a moment to check out the posts, {Preparing Your Holiday Schedule: Part 1} and {Part 2}. Know what you will encounter during the holidays and then take out your Calendar and schedule. Then look at that Calendar. Have you fit in time for you and God? Have you fit in time for you and your family? If not, I suggest you eliminate some stuff from your end-of-the-year agenda.

Then make your own evaluation with these questions:

  1. Where am I?
  2. Where do I want to be?
  3. What is my action plan to get there?
  4. What is God saying?

I assure you, the only way to exit a year and enter a New Year is to do so with Christ. His agenda, His purpose, His desires for you. The real preparations for this time of the year begin in your heart, mind, and soul… and believe me when I tell you- God is so eager, ready and willing to meet you there! Now THAT, my friend, is very exciting!!!

Remember… You are {In Pursuit} of God’s best for your life!

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Posted on December 8, 2011, in HOLIDAYS, LIFE, LIFE LESSONS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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